BCL partner Guy Bastable has been quoted in The Times’ article entitled “City in spotlight over new Libor European tax scandal”.
Here are extracts from the article:
City lawyers predict that it will not be long before London is hit by the aftershocks of an alleged tax evasion scheme that is understood to have cost European treasuries €55 billion.
Martin Shields and Nicholas Diable, two British investment bankers, are on trial in Germany accused of helping to facilitate the so-called cum-ex trading scheme, which exploited a tax loophole until it was closed in 2012.
Shields, who is co-operating with prosecutors, said that the cum-ex schemes were practised on an “industrial scale”. The name derives from Latin — cum meaning with and ex meaning without — and refers to stocks with and without dividends.
Guy Bastable at BCL Solicitors says that the debate is complex. “The big question is whether the trading was intrinsically criminal, or whether it was only criminal if conducted in a particular way,” he says. He believes that eminent tax and legal experts may have advised that the trading could be undertaken entirely properly.